How to Make an Origami Peacock

Origami is a traditional Japanese art creating three-dimensional sculpture by making strategic folds in paper. Origami designs can be simple, like the ubiquitous paper crane, to extremely complicated pieces requiring hundreds or even thousands of folds. An origami peacock is a very simple technique. It yields an impressive finished product in just a few easy steps.

Holding the square of paper turned so that it is a diamond shape, fold it in half vertically. Press the fold firmly, then unfold it, so there is a defined crease running from one corner to another.

Take the lower-left corner and fold it so that the edge of the paper under it is flush with the centre crease. Repeat with the lower-right corner. The bottom edges should be facing each other along the centre crease, creating a point at the bottom of the paper.

Take each of the corners that were just brought near the top and fold them back so that the edge is flush with the folded edges created in step 2. These folds should resemble a dress shirt collar.

Fold the entire piece in half horizontally, pulling the bottom tip up so that it's even with the top.

Take the narrow tip that is now on top of the piece and fold it back, halving the angle in its lower-left corner. The tip should be jutting out to the right and the bottom of the entire piece should be even and flat.

Holding it on the left side, peel back the rear panel and fold in half vertical, reversing the crease created in step 1. This will cause the crease in the narrow tip to angle back. Follow this natural fold, making the narrow tip even narrower.

Take the narrow tip and pull it over and to the left. When it even with the opposite corner, make a crease, then unfold.

Make a bonnet fold in the length of the narrow tip by opening the bottom like a book and turning it inside out, then creasing it again with the tip pointing straight up, the long side should be lined with the tallest portion of the paper. This creates the peacock's neck.

Make another bonnet fold, this time very small in the top 1/4 inch of the narrow tip. This makes the tip go horizontal again, creating the peacock's head.

Accordion fold the top wing section in thirds vertically. Flip the paper over and repeat on the other wing. Press firmly, then open.

Fold the top 1/4 inch back to create a more rounded appearance on the fanned feathers.

Things You'll Need

  • Square sheet of paper
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About the Author

Elizabeth Donaghy has been writing professionally since 2003. Her work has appeared in "Womanzine," "The Onion" and online at PopMatters, among other sources. Donaghy has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas.